“What would it be like if you were to teach a civil war unit using restorative justice as an essential question on which to focus?”
Looking back on the work we did years ago at the School Mediation Center, I came across a great article we wrote describing how schools can integrate the principles of restorative justice into various academic subject areas. As schools seek to provide engaging classes that gets kids to think critically about social issues, teaching students about restorative justice is a wonderful way to stimulate their thinking.
“Effective teachers bring current, real life issues into the classroom that can engage, stimulate and provoke students’ opinions and thinking; and restorative justice can provide rich opportunities to teach content and controversy at the same time.”
Teachers face many demands to raise test scores but they also face demands to engage their students and find ways to teach subjects that encourage their participation. Restorative justice is a provocative topic and set of practices that many students would be curious to learn about and apply to their understanding of the world.
Years ago, I was a part of a team that incorporated topics such as these into the curriculum in a national project called the National Curriculum Integration Project (NCIP). It was successful in many ways. Now, I’m curious to know who else is carrying on this work? Have you incorporated restorative justice into your own subject area? Have you incorporated restorative practices into your own classroom? I’d be curious to know.